Patrick McDonald earns 250th win as both Pelham soccer teams cruise over Pinson Valley

Published 10:41 am Monday, February 26, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – Thursday, Feb. 22 was a special night for Pelham soccer, not just because both varsity teams kept rolling with dominant victories, but because a program legend reached a massive milestone.

Pelham varsity boys soccer coach Patrick McDonald earned the 250th win of his coaching career in the Panthers’ 5-0 victory over the Pinson Valley Indians.

McDonald entered the season just six wins shy of 250. The Panthers put him on the cusp of breaking the record by bouncing back from a 2-1 defeat in the Cats Cup to Spain Park with a 5-2 win at home against Benjamin Russell on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

His team’s dominant performance allowed the former state champion coach to earn the milestone victory at Pelham’s home field in front of the fans who have support him and the Panthers throughout the years.

To do so, Pelham scored a season-high five goals for the second straight match. After previously setting the high-water mark in their opener against Fultondale, the Panthers matched their effort from the Benjamin Russell match to put five on the scoreboard.

Unlike the match against the Wildcats just two days prior when it allowed two goals, Pelham’s defense held strong throughout the match to allow no goals into the back of its net, securing the clean sheet in the process.

With the win, the Panthers earned the No. 3 rank in the Class 6A boys soccer coaches poll and improved to 6-2 on the season. Pelham remains undefeated against teams from Class 6A or lower.

However, the varsity boys weren’t the only team to earn a victory on the night. The varsity girls left the field victorious over Pinson Valley as well, earning a 3-0 win.

Pelham opened up the match by throwing the first punch as it scored a goal in the first half to enter halftime with a 1-0 lead.

The Panthers defense held on throughout the match to earn the shutout, which set up the offense to finish out the win.

Pelham did just that on the other end of the field, scoring two more goals after halftime to ensure it would walk away with the victory.

That put the finishing touches on the 3-0 victory, which helped the Panthers bounce back from a defeat to Benjamin Russell earlier in the week.

Pelham improved to 5-3-1 with its second win in six days as it hopes to continue progressing in the right direction.

Both varsity teams will travel to Brookwood on Tuesday, Feb. 27 with the girls playing at 5 p.m. and the boys kicking off at 7 p.m.